MIRPURKHAS: The Mirpurkhas Gymkhana Club situated on the Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas highway has been sealed by officials on a directive of the deputy commissioner “without any prior notice and stated reasons for it”, it emerged on Tuesday.

An assistant commissioner accompanied by police arrived at the club and told the people there to vacate the club as, under the order of the Mirpurkhas deputy commissioner, the club premises was being sealed on Monday night.

Besides the club staff, some peasants working in the club’s farms and orchards are living in huts on the premises.

The club was said to have been established in 1927, and former prime minister Mohammad Khan Junejo, prominent lawyers and traders had been members of the club in the past.

Sources said the district administration believed that the club was being run on a commercial basis as a restaurant had been established there.

However, when this reporter tried to contact the deputy commissioner and the assistant commissioner of Mirpurkhas for their comments, they did not answer the repeated phone calls.

Secretary of the club Rais Ahmed Khan told Dawn that there was an independent managing committee that ran the club and senior lawyer Yousuf Leghari was its president. “But, unfortunately, the district administration without any prior notice seized the club premises,” he said. “The peasants living on the club premises, though haven’t been disturbed by the officials, are perturbed by the closure of its main gate as they have to scale the walls to go in and out of the premises.”

He added that since the club was being run without any government grant, resources were created for it with the approval of its managing committee. He said the restaurant established on the premises had also been closed. He said that they had renovated its building for its re-inauguration and establishing a ‘playland’ for children on the club premises to earn more money.

The women’s club on the premises, though no longer active, had also been sealed, he said.

He said the closure of the club was an injustice of the district authorities to the citizens of Mirpurkhas.

Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2015

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